It is a very surprising fact that some of the problems which NASA is unable to solve, such issues are handled by a team of the university students. But it is true. Members and students of the Air and Space Research team sitting at the University of Nebraska are very much busy in solving those issues which the largest space agency in the world is not able to solve. Every year NASA comes up with a number of tough issues which it ultimately hands over to the students spread across various nations. The ASR team is believed to be UNL’s answer to all such challenges.
In the current year, seven students belonging to the ASR team created the prototype of an equipment that could be a solution to the NASA’s problem which relates to the cutting zip ties which are present in the outer space. Although it may appear to be a very small issue, it is of prime importance to an astronaut who is entrusted with the job of carrying out maintenance job on the ISS while he is suspended in the vacuum of the space. According to a chemical engineer, the main reason behind the decay of Zip tie is because of the radiation of the sun. According to this engineer, astronauts should ensure the fact that their zip ties are cut in such a manner that their suits are not damaged. And thereby the material that the zip ties wraps are also not damaged.
Astronaut suits are very sensitive in nature and this feature further enhances the problem. The astronauts are given a small box of motion for the purpose of their arms. However, their gloves don’t allow them to hold anything which takes the shape of scissors. In order to solve this problem, the students have developed a prototype that will have a clamp like pincers which will help to cut the zip tie.
It has been announced that ASR team will come down to NASA and have a meeting with the NASA engineers at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston during this summer. Here the students will test the prototype in the laboratory to find out if their invention becomes successful. Though there would be no monetary compensation if this invention is being selected by NASA, still the students will feel proud of the fact that their design will be given a recognition by NASA